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Mandatory Directive on Capacity Limitations

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*Please confirm that your facility may open under the State Order. Where there is a difference between the local County Order and the State Order, the more restrictive order must be followed. The State also has specific guidance for certain facilities that must be followed in addition to this mandatory directive.*

Information on the State’s Order and State guidance is available at

Issued: November 15, 2020
Last Revised: March 2, 2021
Effective: March 3, 2021

On August 28, 2020, the State issued a Statewide Public Health Officer Order (“State Order,” available here) and the Blueprint for a Safer Economy (“Blueprint,” available here).  The State Order and Blueprint establish statewide restrictions applicable to each “tier” to which counties are assigned.

All businesses, as that term is defined in the County Health Officer’s Revised Risk Reduction Order issued on October 5, 2020 (“Revised Risk Reduction Order”), including any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entity, must follow the mandatory requirements in this Directive and any other applicable County Health Officer Directive, the Revised Risk Reduction Order, the applicable restrictions under the State Order and Blueprint, the State’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance documents, and any applicable health and safety regulations.  Where there is a difference between these rules, the most restrictive rule must be followed.

The State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy imposes capacity limitations on many industries, requiring them to limit the number of people inside their facilities to a percentage of their normal maximum occupancy.  To provide clarity around capacity limitations and to assist with the implementation of the State’s requirements, this Directive establishes rules for applying and calculating capacity limitations and for posting capacity-related signage.  


This Directive is mandatory, and failure to follow it is a violation of the Health Officer’s Order issued on October 5, 2020 (“Order”).


Capacity Limitation Requirements


  1. Follow All Applicable State Capacity Limitations
    1. All businesses must comply with any applicable capacity limitations imposed by the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. If more than one State capacity limitation applies to a particular business facility, the strictest capacity limitation must be followed.

  2. Applicability of Capacity Limitations

    1. Capacity limitations apply to every indoor room or area in a facility that members of the public visit in order to engage in activities subject to the State’s COVID-19 rules (not including, for example, hallways, stairwells, and bathrooms).  Rooms or areas that are subject to capacity limitations are considered “capacity-limited rooms/areas.”

    2. Capacity limitations apply on a room-by-room or area-by-area basis, not on a facility-wide basis. A business must ensure that each capacity-limited room/area’s specific Reduced Maximum Capacity is not exceeded.

      1. Example: A business is subject to a capacity limitation from the State. The business’s facility has two rooms, Room A and Room B.  Room A has a Reduced Maximum Capacity of 25, and Room B has a Reduced Maximum Capacity of 10.  The business must follow the Reduced Maximum Capacity for each room separately and may not allow more than 25 people into Room A or more than 10 people into Room B even if the business’s total capacity of 35 is not exceeded.   

    3. Capacity limitations apply to both members of the public and personnel. A room/area’s Reduced Maximum Capacity sets the maximum number of people, including both members of the public and personnel, who may be present in that room/area at one time.


  1. Calculating Reduced Maximum Capacity

    1. All businesses must calculate the Reduced Maximum Capacity for each indoor capacity-limited room/area in that facility.
    2. To calculate the Reduced Maximum Capacity for capacity-limited room/areas, businesses must apply the applicable State capacity limitation (g., 25%) to the room/area’s normal maximum occupancy as determined by the Fire Marshal.


  1. Reduced Maximum Capacity Signage
    1. Reduced Maximum Capacity signs must be posted for each capacity-limited room/area that is subject to a State capacity limitation.
    2. Each sign must clearly state the maximum number of people who may be inside that particular capacity-limited room/area at the same time under current State capacity limitations.  A template of the Reduced Maximum Capacity sign is available here.
    3. Each capacity-limited room/area must have one Reduced Maximum Capacity sign posted at each entrance.  The signs must be clearly visible to anyone entering the room.
    4. Reduced Maximum Capacity signs must be updated to reflect any changes in the allowable capacity.


Stay Informed


For instructions and resources related to capacity limitations (including assistance in calculating capacity limitations and completing Reduced Maximum Capacity signage), please visit  Please note that this Directive may be updated.  For up-to-date information on the Health Officer Order, visit the County Public Health Department’s website at


Last updated: 3/2/2021 2:29 PM